Israelis seem accustomed to an extended path ahead before the IDF accomplishes its declared goal of dismantling Hamas and returning more than 100 captives home as the battle in Gaza approaches its eleventh week.
Israeli Prime Minister has been making video declarations for days now, emphasizing his will to prevail in the war in spite of mounting international demand to stop the combat and extend relief into the blockaded region.
This Thursday, he declared, “Anyone who thinks we’re going to stop is detached from reality.” Though the vast majority of Israelis support the military action, his own reputation has been severely damaged by the security lapses that allowed hundreds of Hamas forces to rush into Israeli regions on October 7.
According to Tamar Hermann, a senior researcher at the nonpartisan Israel Democracy Institute “we’re not seeing an erosion of support.” The institution has been conducting polls of attitudes about the conflict on a regular basis. The overwhelming majority thinks that the task must be completed. However, Nobody is certain what could that mean.
Israelis’ amazement at the attack on October 7 and their anguish at the numerous murderous claims that surfaced in the wake have strengthened their support for the war. Israel claims that about 240 individuals were held captive and 1,200 people were slain.
Israeli forces have engaged Hamas members in combat using ambushes and a network of tunnels in streets littered with rubble. With at least 140 men lost thus far, it is evident how big of a challenge lies ahead.
The disillusionment moment has arrived 75 days after the disaster. Yahya Sinwar, the chairman of Hamas in Gaza, and Mohammed Deif, the chief of the military branch, are still free as the planners of the attack on October 7. According to Israeli commanders, they could require many more months to finish their objective.
A Futile Operation
According to a recent IDI survey, 65% of Israelis think the government will fulfill its pledge to destroy Hamas’ capabilities. In contrast, more than a third—29.4% and 5.6%, respectively—say they are unsure or think it is doubtful that this will be accomplished.
About half of the 240 persons whom Hamas had taken captive on October 7 were allowed to return thanks to a truce in late November. However, the attempts to mediate a fresh agreement have moved slowly.
Hamas claims that in order to save the remaining 129 captives, the war must first be ended. Israel is only providing Palestinian citizens with a temporary reprieve and more humanitarian help.
“There is currently no doubt that Israel will experience a sense of sourness,” stated Nahum Barnea, a columnist for Yedioth Ahronoth, the largest Israeli selling newspaper.
A study revealed that the majority of Israelis, 55.1%, think it is improbable that all of the hostages would be brought home. The murder of three captives in northern Gaza, who were accidentally shot by Israeli troops while waving a white flag, came as a shock to a populace that has always embraced the army.
International appeals to halt the war have been increasing during the recent days. The United States, which is Israel’s strongest supporter, is also pushing for a transition to a stage of selective attacks against Hamas officials that is less intense.
Palestinian health officials report that over 20,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza. The beleaguered enclave is facing a humanitarian catastrophe, with an increasing risk of hunger, according to warnings from United Nations authorities. How long Israel can withstand the pressure is still a mystery.